For those that do not know, Today, December 17th, has been internationally recognized as a day to honor those who suffer violence and hate crimes for their involvement in the sex trade. Violence against sex workers often go unreported and unaddressed. Homelessness greatly exacerbates the violence an individual can experience as well as the dependency on the sex trade itself. We know this well at the NJNP Collective — which was created as an intentional community home for Trans current and former sexworkers in search of safe housing. We do not pick one day to honor these individuals, but we honor them everyday as we work to gather the resources for them that isn’t being provided elsewhere. In DC — according to the DC Trans Needs Assessment Survey, a survey released in 2015 that had over 500 trans participants in the DC Area — over 35% of the respondents reported of having engaged in sex work, with a majority those respondents being of color and identifying as trans woman or trans feminine. In the same survey 74% of respondents had been verbally assaulted, 42% physically assaulted, and 35% sexually assaulted, so it should be no surprise that when the issue of housing came up in the survey, 20% of those taking the survey reporting that they are currently experiencing homelessness, Those currently experiencing homelessness are significantly more likely to be HIV positive and half of those responded as homeless reported to rely “ informal and grey economic work for income (such as sex work).
Since April, with our communities facing increasing levels of violence becauset of FOSTA/SESTA, NJNP doubled-down on providing Rapid Response Support to our Trans familia and expanded our Trans Justice Program to include mutual aid & support and a pilot Organizing Training Project(OTP) to develop the organizing and leadership skills of Trans folks of color most directly and disproportionately impacted by violences resulting from the criminalization of sex work.
Since then, NJNP has provided long-term and temporary housing Black and Brown Trans women and former sex workers, while actively working with community partners and organizers to secure safe spaces to house DC’s homeless Trans populations.
Originally published on December 17th, 2018 at tgnc.nojusticenopride.org.